Swapna Barman added the fifth athletics (women’s heptathlon) gold for India at the ongoing Asian Games 2018.
Struggling with a lack of customised shoes for her 12 toes and braving an excruciating toothache, 21-year-old Swapna Barman created history by becoming the first Indian to clinch a gold medal in the Heptathlon category at the Asian Games 2018.
The gruelling schedule of seven events, spread out over three days, took a toll on her body. That, coupled with her perpetual concern of ill-fitting shoes pinching the six toes on each of her feet and a tooth infection after a root canal, were the many battles she fought bravely to notch a remarkable 6,026 points.
The journey from Jalpaiguri to Jakarta hasn’t been easy for the Queen of Heptathlon.
Swapna Barman was born to a rickshaw puller and a tea-estate worker and hails from the humble town of Jalpaiguri in West Bengal.
Tragedy struck the family after her father suffered a stroke, which left him completely bedridden. Arranging even one square meal a day for a family of six became a daily challenge. And so, young Swapna decided to shoulder the responsibility of the family. And she knew the only way to do it was through her passion – sports.
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